Published on in Traditions, Tradizioni

Barbera and plin, our Christmas recipe

Make plin a Christmas gift this year. Agnolotti, or filled pasta, has its most famous form as the agnolotti del plin in Piedmont—handmade pasta with the trademark pinched top (the “plin”) that encloses all the delicious filling inside. And it’s a classic dish for Christmas dinner. Agnolotti del plin are not just a tradition from the Savoy soils of Piedmont — in fact, they are more common in the Langhe and Monferrato— but are a gesture of love and thriftiness.

Agnolotti del plin

They are a gesture of love because they only by made with much patience and expertise, and often by the women of the house. Deftly forming hundreds of these agnolotti del plin, they have always been a highly appreciated gift to all family members for the big Christmas lunch, and still is one of the main dishes today.

They are a gesture of thriftiness because usually, they are prepared with the leftovers from other recipes, most often from the roasted meats that usually constitute the main course of the Christmas lunch on Piedmontese tables.


The classic agnolotto couldn’t find a better pairing than Barbera d’Asti. A wine of good cheer and conviviality, it is an excellent pairing for fresh egg pasta dishes. It is also a perfect pairing with roasted meat sauces, balancing the savoriness with its natural freshness.

La nostra ricetta

To rediscover the pleasures of the “pizzicotto” (the pinch that makes the plin) and pair it with a good glass of wine, we have a classic recipe by Luca Zecchin, chef and good friend of Casa Coppo. The recipe follows that of Lidia Alciati, the legendary cook of Guido da Costigliole, one of the most renowned restaurants of the Monferrato located in the Relais San Maurizio in Santo Stefano Belbo.

Luca has given us a precious recipe that distinguishes itself from the Guido restaurant, and is sure to satisfy everyone at the Christmas table.

As accompaniment to Lidia Aciati’s plin, we suggest our Barbera d’Asti Gavelli. An innovative Barbera in vinification yet traditional in flavor, it is capable of exalting the maximum potential of the variety, underlining its freshness and natural acidity while demonstrating elegance and juiciness.

Barbera d'Asti Cascina Gavelli


Ingredients for six people

For the pasta
500 gr all-purpose flour
11 egg yolks
1 egg
80-100 gr cold water
a bit of semolina flour

For the filling
150 gr pork loin
200 gr veal
200 gr rabbit
200 gr green endive
100 gr spinach
50 gr di Parmigiano
4 whole eggs
20 gr butter
50 gr extra virgin olive oil
1 onion
1 carrot
salt and pepper


Knead the flour with the egg yolks and water until it is smooth and uniform, then let it rest for about half an hour. Next, pass it through a pasta machine, gradually getting thinner until reaching the thinnest setting. Once all the pasta is stretched out, place small, hazelnut-sized balls of filling in a single line about 3-4 cm from the top of the pasta, and 2-3 cm apart from each other. Fold over the top part of the pasta and press it on the bottom layer to attach it well. Next, create each agnolotto with the famous “plin.” Pinch the pasta in between each ball of filling, then use a serrated pasta wheel to first cut the long strip away from the rest of the pasta, and then to separate each one. For the filling, sautè the carrot and onion, diced finely. Add the pork and rabbit and brown the meat over high flame; reduce the heat and roast. When they’re about halfway done, add the veal, endive, and spinach. Cover and cook for at least two hours. When done, set aside the liquids from the sauce. When it’s cooled, cut everything finely and add four eggs and the Parmigiano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the agnolotti in boiling water for just a minute and a half, then toss gently with the reserved, roasted meat sauce and a little bit of butter.